I absolutely adored those series describing the efforts to breed in captivity endangered animals and I recommend them warmly. Films are very well made, VERY interesting, the message is very optimistic and the cause defended (preserve endangered species from extinction) is a very great and pure one. The enthusiasm of the narrator is only equalled by the devotion and commitment of animal handlers, veterinarians and scientists shown in the four episodes. Without giving too much spoilers, here are some of the topics covered:
- breeding in captivity of pandas, gorillas, Amur leopards, koalas, wallabys and aye-aye lemurs
- caring about orphaned baby elephants
- trying to contain a deadly disease decimating Tasmanian devils
- evacuating the whole population of an endangered frog from island of Montserrat
- taking care of newborn tamarins rejected and attacked by their mother
- helping endangered kestrels to lay more eggs and raise more hatchlings by providing them with safe nests in wilderness
Without affecting in any way the five star ratings there is however one caveat that I would like to give - this show is not appropriate for young children, for two reasons: sex and violence. If you watch it in family, your young children can be treated to some very explicit images of copulating pandas and then even more torrid sex scene between gorillas... Even worse, in episode three there are some extremely shocking images of tasmanian devils suffering from a form of very virulent (and contagious!) cancer, which disfigures them HORRIBLY! The images of a baby tamarin mutilated by its mother are also very tough... But the WORST is the decision of a veterinarian to put to sleep a female Tasmanian devil, who is close to death from advanced cancer - which will also kill the four very young joeys in her pouch (there is no way to save little marsupials that young...). My 10 y.o. daughter cried half of the evening after that - and I think that many young children will react very badly to such a thing... So it is up to you of course, but be warned.
That one reserve notwithstanding, it is an excellent series.